Oedipus Rex or Oedipus the King

What are examples to dramatic irony in the play Oedipus the King

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We know from the outset that Oedipus is going to kill his father and marry his mother.

One example of dramatic irony comes when the old soothsayer visits the King. Oedipus ridicules the man because he's blind, and Tiresias in a fit of anger tells the king that though he can see he is "blind" to the truth. When Oedipus becomes blind, he finally realizes the truth of the man's words. Irony is also to be found in the fact that it is the blind man who truly sees.

There are many dramatic irony in the play. For example, Oedipus has been seeking to find out the murderer of the previous king in order to solve the plague,but in fact, he is the murderer. The more efforts and endeavors he takes, the more ironic he seems to be.

I was looking to this page for help, but unfortunately, none of the respondents seem to understand what dramatic irony actually is. So, I will include a definition so that future respondents will be able to accurately provide examples.

British Dictionary

dramatic irony


1.(theatre) the irony occurring when the implications of a situation, speech, etc, are understood by the audience but not by the characters in the play



Thing with Greek theatre is that all the people who were watching the play actually knew the plot, and therefore knew the ending. Audience understood that when Oedipus called the prophet blind, he was actually stupid enough not to understand that he is the one who is blind.


My own knowledge

they are same things verbal irony,tragic irony in this poem aren't they


There is a great deal of dramatic irony in the play Oedipus the King.

For example:

1) Oedipus is the blindest when he calls Tiresias, the seer blind.
2) Oedipus is cursing himself when he thinks he is cursing the slayer of Laius.
3) Oedipus can answer the impossible Sphinx-riddle, but he has no answer to the riddle of his own existence.
4) Every attempt he makes to help his subjects of Thebes only serves to bring more harm to himself.
5) Every attempt he makes to avert danger, only serve to bring it nearer.


If we attempt to find perfect examples of irony in this drama, following the definition given above then it will be more easy. So then at first place Oedipus himself is a great example of dramatic irony in this drama as he doesn't know who is he? and what is he doing?, but we know the rest of his story from starting.

After Oedipus talks about killing Creon, the chorus begs for him not to cast Creon out. Oedipus replies that if that is what the people want, then they might as well want him to be banished from the land. The chorus says no at the time, but it couldn't be truer after the truth is revealed.


The three theban plays translated by robert fagles